Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease (Alzheimer’s disease is the first), afflicting approximately 1 million Americans. If you or a loved one are living with Parkinson’s disease, you are all too familiar with its unpleasant physical effects. The weakness, stiffness, slowness, tremors, and balance issues associated with Parkinson’s disease can greatly affect daily life.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you are probably already taking some medications to slow its progression and may also have begun a physical therapy or exercise program. Maybe you’ve even heard of a therapy called “LSVT BIG” and have wondered if it’s right for you.
What is LSVT BIG?
LSVT BIG is a therapy program specifically designed for people with Parkinson’s disease. It is based on the principle of neuroplasticity — the idea that the brain can reorganize itself and change in response to new situations. Based on this ability to learn and change, the goal of LSVT is to reeducate your brain, especially where movement is concerned, in order to achieve a better quality of life.
LSVT is an intensive program. It is delivered by a specially trained physical therapist in 16 one hour sessions. These take place over the course of 4 weeks. Daily homework assignments are also part of the program.
Why Does it Work?
One of the hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease is a tendency towards slower and smaller movement. People with Parkinson’s frequently shuffle when they walk. They may also experience issues with balance. This is partly because the brain starts to perceive movement that is within the normal range as being “too big.”
LSVT therapy focuses on retraining the brain by practicing “biggness” of movement. As the brain and body get used to making these bigger movements in therapy, it becomes easier to carry them over into every day activities and situations.
As a result of learning to increase their biggness of movement, people who have completed the LSVT BIG program have experienced improvements in balance, speed, and overall quality of life. Click here to view before and after footage documenting the progress that one man made in his ability to walk as a result of LSVT BIG therapy.
The Davis Community Offers Rehabilitation at Its Finest
The Davis Community has a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center where our residents can exercise and/or recover from their surgeries or injuries using modern equipment designed especially for seniors. We take pride in offering the best rehabilitation and physical therapy in Wilmington NC. If you or an aging parent need physical rehabilitation or therapy, visit our Facebook page to learn more about the fitness center at Davis Community. Or, for more information about LSVT BIG or our retirement community, nursing homes, and skilled nursing services, just give us a call today at 910-566-1200.